Nov 19, 2012
John Metz said he really doesn’t want to do it, but the Affordable Care Act is forcing him to add a 5 percent surcharge to customers at the restaurants he owns. However, Metz is all heart. He suggests that if you are unhappy about paying the surcharge, just deduct the amount from the tip.
“If I leave the prices the same, but say on the menu that there is a 5 percent surcharge for Obamacare, customers have two choices. They can either pay it and tip 15 or 20 percent, or if they really feel so inclined, they can reduce the amount of tip they give to the server, who is the primary beneficiary of Obamacare,” Metz told The Huffington Post. “Although it may sound terrible that I’m doing this, it’s the only alternative. I’ve got to pass the cost on to the consumer.”
Metz, of West Palm Beach, Fla., said he plans to implement the surcharge in January — when the health-care changes go into full effect — in his restaurants, which include about 40 Denny’s. In order to cut his company’s health-care burden under the Affordable Care Act, Metz said he also will cut back on employees’ hours to under 30 hours.
Metz isn’t the only one citing the new health-care law as costing consumers. Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter said the ACA could increase the price of his pizzas 11 to 14 cents.
However, an article at Slate.com took a leery view of surcharges, mentioning a report indicating that in San Francisco, which already had enacted its own version of the ACA, businesses that tacked on surcharges weren’t spending the funds on health insurance but mostly pocketed the extra funds.